Hello! My name is Shannon Taylor. I'm a long-time writer and editor from Minnesota surprised to find myself on an island in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, three younger children (the oldest is attending college in Chicago), and two dogs.

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Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
+ Robert Fulghum

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Winter Fun

Archive for 'Holidays'

Chinese New Year: Year of the Horse Necklaces

I’m so excited to share this Chinese New Year project with you because it features original artwork by Lexie! The girls and I sat down to brainstorm a fun way to celebrate the Year of the Horse and we came up with the idea of a necklace.
So while Lily and I dug through our art […]


Chinese New Year: Ruby’s Wish

With the festivities starting in a little more than two weeks, I wanted to share our favorite Chinese New Year book with you. Ruby’s Wish, by Shirin Yim Bridges, is the story of young girl living in China in the early 1900s, whose greatest wish is to attend a university. I don’t want to give […]


Christmas Favorites

Happy Epiphany! Since it’s still officially the Christmas season (for a few more minutes, anyway), is it all right if I share some of our favorite things from Christmas this year?
First up are these Gingerbread Cities from Better Homes and Gardens. We made one for ourselves and a few to give away. They took some […]


Easter Break Activity: Project Bunnies

The kids have a few days off for Easter Break, so this morning Lily and I got busy with bunnies. To get started, we used the Bunny Template to trace and cut out a bunch of bunnies from the most spring-ish card stock we had around.
The first project was Bunny Cards. They were super easy to make, […]


Grandma Charlotte’s Best-Ever Irish Soda Bread

Oh, this bread. I made a loaf this morning and when it came out of the oven I stood at the stove with my Butter Bell in hand, cutting off warm slices and slathering them with butter.
The bread is so easy to make—I just throw everything into the standing mixer, knead the dough into shape, […]


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day to you! Man, it’s challenging to have Valentine’s Day the same week as Chinese New Year, but we pulled it all together last night by the skin of our teeth.
Lily was happy to see her favorite heart-shaped-candy box-with-the-red-cellophane-wrapper waiting for her at breakfast this morning. She had reminded us about the heart […]


Chinese New Year / Fortune Cookies

Happy New Year! And welcome to the Year of the Snake. Did you shudder a little when you read that? Snakes don’t have the best reputation, but they do help keep the rodent population under control. I think they’re cool. From a distance.
If you were born under this sign, the Chinese calendar folks consider you to be […]


Festisite / Love Poem Generator

I’m so excited about this idea for Valentine’s Day! To generate a love poem, you go to www.festisite.com, type in your text, and click Layout Text. Some computer magic happens and a heart-shaped image made from your text appears. How cool is that?
I made one for Tim using the last few stanzas of “Anniversary Song” […]


Organizing for Next Christmas

I meant to make these Wee Mouse Tin Houses as gifts this past Christmas. I really did. I even bought fabric. A week before Christmas. Needless to say, the mice didn’t get made. But there’s always Christmas 2013, right?
Except that after surviving the holidays the last thing I want to do is start thinking about […]


Keeping Memories / Your Year in Review

We’ve been filling out our Year in Review sheets this week. They’re great for the kids, of course, but I think it’s fun to see how our tastes and interests change from year to year as adults, too. Wouldn’t it be great to pull these out when the kids are older (or have kids of […]

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